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An empty and a short review: Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year

Posted on by Eric Burke

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This is my first empty since posting the stash online. Kind of momentous in a way.

I tend to get all nostalgic when a bottle is emptied. When I have something in my possession for long enough, I become sentimental about it. I once had a pen for 4 years. Nothing special, just a bic clicker with the University of Minnesota logo screen printed on it. I almost cried when I lost it. Ok, not really. But I did feel this momentary pang of loss. Whiskey is much the same way. Though I've never had one last a year much less, the four of that lovely, lovely pen...sigh...ahem. Err. Sorry.

I try not to have multiple bottles of the same thing on the shelf. So when something is gone, there is a very real chance that it is gone for the foreseeable future. Add to that, the fact that this whiskey was just a bit special to me and you have something else that I felt just a bit of a pang over. At least until I drank it and realized I'd kept it just a bit too long. (You can do that, in case you didn't know, so drink up.) 

So why was this whiskey special? Not because it was particularly good. It is good, very good, but will never be a go-to-gotta-have-it-on-the-shelf sort of bottle. I liked it, I just never really found myself going to it all that often. It was special because I found this the on my first trip to one of my favorite liquor stores. While that probably doesn't mean much to folks who just make a stop off for a case of beer, it is a special occasion in the life of a whiskey drinker. It means you found a place where people don't stop and give you funny looks for standing next to the "hard-likker" or even funnier looks when they see you holding one that has a price tag above $25. A good liquor store is a place where you can get recommendations and even some conversation in while you are there. So I found this bottle when I found that place. And that made me think kindly of it.

But now it's gone. Things have been shuffled around so you would have never known it was there. It only lives now in my memory and in these tasting notes from very shortly after I opened it...due to that whole keeping it too long thing. So forgive their brevity, I'd assumed I'd go back and fluff them out some more later.

Buckwheat honey and brown sugar on the nose. Later a hint of fruitiness appears. Mouth is sweet with a hint of mintiness, very low burn. The finish lasts a decent length of time.

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I like this whiskey, I don't love it. I thought I loved it at first, but found myself consistently choosing others over it. And that's not how you define love. Still, it's very good and I suggest you try it if you run across it and haven't yet.